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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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INTBODUCTOKY   ESSAY.                               131
and scarcely arable,, and the inhabitants are in general so de-
pendent on the periodical rains for their crops, that any de-
ficiency in the rain-fall is followed by a bad harvest.
Throughout the northern Carnatic, the rain-fall during the
south-west monsoon is trifling in amount; and aj the sun's
action is not mitigated by a cloudy sky during the hottest
period of the year, as is the case in Myspre, the temperature
from March till November is extremely high. In the middle
of October or the beginning of November the north-east
monsoon sets in,, and with it a more or less abundant rain-
fall. In the end of December the rains cease, from the gra-
dual change in the direction of the wind, which makes it less
directly a sea-breeze than in the earlier part of the winter
season. The mean temperature of Madras is 82°, and the
rain-fall does not exceed 45 inches.
In the southern Carnatic, the district of Salem, between the
rivers Penar and Cavery, which is considerably more elevated
than the rest of the province, may be considered a prolonga-
tion of the most elevated .part of the central platform of My-
sore. The table-land of Mysore dips abruptly into the plain
of Salem, which has an elevation of about 1100 feet above the
sea, and contains several detached masses of hills scattered
over it, all rising to very considerable elevations. Of these,
the most lofty are the Shiwari hills, which rise a few miles
north-east of the town of Salem, iu a range of densely wooded
flat-topped hills. The mean height of the table-laud on their
summits is about 4600 feet, but the highest peak rises to 5260
feet. The Salem district, from its position opposite the Coim-
bator gap, and from the influence of the considerable masses
of high land just mentioned, is rather more rainy than the
northern Carnatic. The south-west monsoon sets in early
in June, and short but heavy and frequent showers continue
till September. Towards the end of October, the north-east
monsoon brings a return of showery weather, with a cloudy
sky. This continues till the middle of December, when the
iťains cease iu consequence of the gradual change of the direc-
tion of the wind from north-cast to due north.